The dangers of weight training: Protect your body
Done correctly, weight training can lead to a stronger, fitter and healthier life with many health benefits associated with lifting big! Weight training is also not something to be taken lightly however if you’ll excuse the pun, and it can be a dangerous endeavour if we fail to have proper technique or try to lift too big, too fast! Certain movements can pose more risk than others and there is an inherent risk in everything we do, from driving to work in the morning to crossing the road at lunch. As with everything, it is important to do your research on weight training and build yourself up gradually. If you rush into lifting weights in an attempt to get big quick, you are far more likely to damage something which may put you out of action for a while and stop you training and making those sought after gains. Here are a few tips on lifting correctly with some of the most common weightlifting exercises.
The squat is arguably one of the most common weightlifting exercises due to the fact it is such a good mass builder! It’s a big compound movement, meaning it employs more than one muscle group, and is fantastic for building the lower body in terms of strength and muscle. However, as with all lifting movements, incorrect technique can lead to injury. Common injuries that occur from the squat can be problems with the knees from the strain taken during the movement of the squat exercise, as well as lower back problems from incorrect form. These are pretty easy injuries to avoid simply by investing in a decent, high quality squat rack and building the weight up as you get stronger, defining your 1 rep max from the start and working from there. Form is also crucial to performing the squat so make sure you research the exercise, get a spotter if you can or seek advice from a personal trainer before you embark on your squatting journey and make those gains!
The Bench Press
Another big compound lift, the bench press is the go to exercise for those wishing to build a big chest and fill that t-shirt! With a big lift can come big problems however when people decide to lift too much too soon and can’t get the rep out which can lead to injury. Arching the back can also lead to lower back issues and just like the squat, proper form is crucial not only for reducing injury, but also to get the most out of the exercise and target the right muscle groups. As with all exercises, do your research, seek the help of a qualified professional, get a spotter and increase the weight on a gradual basis.
Another BIG mass builder, this exercise is awesome for both cardio and weight training, guaranteed to give you a full body workout! As it’s such a big lift that can put a lot of strain on the back, common injuries occur where people lift too much too soon and put their back out. The form is also a little trickier than with some other exercises and this too can lead to injuries along the way. DO YOUR RESEARCH, especially with this one. Ask professionals, watch videos of common mistakes, and don’t lift too much too soon although this can be very tempting to do! The deadlift puts a lot of strain on a lot of muscle groups, and when done correctly this can lead to an awesome workout, but if done incorrectly can be a sure fire way of getting yourself injured and out of training for a while.
A word on nutrition
The 3 exercises above are some of the most common for causing injury due to the fact they are big compound lifts usually done with a big weight! It can be easy to put your back out with these exercises, as well as other injuries such as in the knees so be careful! Fuelling up with the right food before your workout is crucial to having a good workout. If you are feeling a little lethargic this can be all it takes to be a little sloppy on one of your lifts and injure yourself in a split second. Fuel up before your workout and post workout to reduce delayed onset muscle soreness and get you back in the gym as soon as possible. You may also want to invest in supplements such as protein or creatine to give you an extra boost in the gym, and support your body in your quest to get fit and ripped. Lifting is a great thing and can lead to many health benefits for the body, but be careful, eat right, and lift sensibly! Other than that, enjoy!